I needed this smile today…
"Constance picking flowers"
Photographer: Hans Withoos
alternate names for black boys
by Danez Smith
1. smoke above the burning bush
2. archnemesis of summer night
3. first son of soil
4. coal awaiting spark & wind
5. guilty until proven dead
6. oil heavy starlight
7. monster until proven ghost
9. phoenix who forgets to un-ash
10. going, going, gone
11. gods of shovels & black veils
12. what once passed for kindling
13. fireworks at dawn
14. brilliant, shadow hued coral
15. (I thought to leave this blank
but who am I to name us nothing?)
16. prayer who learned to bite & sprint
17. a mother’s joy & clutched breath
As the world watched the tumultuous events in Ferguson, Mo., over the last week, a new hashtag was born: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. The meme was photographic: what images would the media use if I died? But the question, at its heart, was one of naming.
Kid or criminal? Victim or threat? Brother, son, friend — or thug? One of us, or other?
Danez Smith grapples with the power of naming, and the powerlessness of being named, in this poem. Poetry Magazine tweeted it out earlier today, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Phoenix Arizona anarchists have been active supporting the Ferguson uprising in different ways. Anarchists are organizing and attending local events as well as spreading propaganda both online and off. Many comrades see the events in Ferguson as much more than an isolated disturbance or a singular flash point that the state is having trouble controlling.
To many, Ferguson represents an escalation in the way the state plans to handle rebellions they are unable to manage with propaganda and counter-insurgency. So what this ends up meaning is, moving forward we should expect immediate escalation and martial law. The next economic disaster and war will bring mass resistance. What we see in Ferguson is their plan to deal with it, to manage it.
So, it becomes imperative to support in ways that make the most sense. Single acts of support in many places not only provide hope and inspiration but the impression that anarchists can act in mass when needed. What does it look like during the next escalation if our acts continue to multiply?
-Phoenix, AZ: Anarchist Graffiti in Support of Ferguson, MO and Palestine
And you tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake… You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that. And if he wants to leave, then let him leave. You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.
there will be fire
And the babies cease alarm as mothers
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force
irreversible as light years
traveling to the open
we are the ones we have been waiting for.
poem by June Jordan
photos from Ferguson, by @Antonio_French and Robert Cohen @kodacohen
Summer School Episode 1: #AbuserDynamics and Gender Violence
Video, Storify, and Full Transcription: http://freepdfhosting.com/8c4dc6eef2.pdf
See the white countercultural bloggers reblog black-and-white photos of their outdated notions of anarchy and rebellion, but watch them stay quiet in the face of full-colour, high-definition white police-perpetuated brutalization and murder of my people
Black people are suffering and dying for that “dream of fighting the status quo” that you romanticize, and yet you still refuse to help us dismantle it.
Through your complacency,
you’ve become the enemy.